May 02, 2019

When finance major Joseph Morante ’21 received an application to become a Stanford University Innovation Fellow, he knew immediately that he wanted to apply.

“I want to provide something to make a positive impact at Susquehanna,” he explained, and this seemed like the perfect place to start.

The Stanford University Innovation Fellows (UIF) program empowers students to become agents of change at their universities by creating opportunities to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity. Students work independently and with one another to create initiatives and improve existing ones on their campus.

While this year’s group of fellows at Susquehanna is working with the GO Program and international students, Morante has some additional ideas that he would like to enact as well.

He is working to combine his passion for education with the lack of preparedness for higher education he sees in middle and high school students. He claims his initial idea came from participating in LeaderShape, a winter leadership development retreat for Susquehanna students.

“I want to help young students to be more prepared to get into college. In high school, I didn’t know what to do. My parents just told me to do well in school, and I didn’t have much guidance beyond that. They didn’t really know how to help me,” Morante said.

His future plans for the project are to collaborate with others at Susquehanna University and reach out to students who may be in similar positions as he was.

Morante also hopes to become a mentor to future generations of University Innovation Fellows.

“I want to give them direction and help them create their own plans,” he said. He suggests that students interested in getting involved shouldn’t be intimidated by the name of the fellowship.

“It’s okay to fail and learn from your mistakes. The worst thing to do is not apply and be stuck with ‘what-ifs,’” he said.